Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel (Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh)
AFTER BIRDS ARE HATCHED, they raise their heads up – often with their beaks wide open, waiting for their food. As nestlings and fledglings, their gazes are constantly upward. From another angle, their Taqdeer (destiny) is to fly. They were born to fly. So very possibly their gazes are also towards the sky anticipating that they will soon fly high.
When these fledglings have their new feathers, they emerge from their nest so that they can learn to fly. For some, their parents or the other adult birds give them flying lessons, teaching them how to glide in the air, how to land, etc. سُبْحَانَ الله We see Allah Ta’ala’s Qudrat in all of His creation.
On the other hand, we find that animals such as cows, donkeys, mules, horses, zebras and others are created in such a way that they pass most of their lives with their gazes downward, towards the earth. This is their Taqdeer – to remain on the earth; to graze off the earth. They will not be flying.
The Muslim who is desirous of gaining the closeness of Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul ﷺ has the gaze of his heart upward, towards the heavens. His thoughts and his aspiration are: I want to reach Allah Ta’ala. I want to reach Jannah.
So his efforts are channeled in the direction of Allah Ta’ala’s obedience, nurturing Allah Ta’ala’s Love in his heart and following the beautiful Sunnah of Rasulullah ﷺ. With the guidance and direction of a Shaykh-e-Kaamil, he learns to fly spiritually. With the wings of Taqwa, he takes flight from any venue of sin, flying far away from everything displeasing to his Beloved Allah Ta’ala! By so doing, he gains Allah Ta’ala’s Qurb (nearness) and Allah Ta’ala’s Pleasure.
As for the one who is only absorbed and infatuated with this material world, his or her gaze and attention is constantly directed downward, towards the commodities of this world – on clothes, shoes, jewellery, cellphones, cars, palatial homes and other material items. All of which have their origin in sand and all of which will return to sand. Nothing of Dunya is made to last.
Hazrat Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ had explained: “Your hearts are attached to the things of the world, which have their origin in sand. The women of the world are created from sand, the homes are of sand and the food is of sand. Everything is of sand. They only appear in different forms and colours. The end result is also sand.”
Anyone who gives his or her heart to this world fills the heart with the ‘sand’ of this world. Sand upon sand! Life is wasted on sand. The mind becomes clouded and blinded by the sand of Dunya and forgetful of the objective of living in this world.
A person who is deceived by the outward glitter and glamour passes through life ‘grazing’ upon the things of Dunya, depriving himself or herself of the wonderful enjoyment of flying high in the obedience of Allah Ta’ala and striving to earn His Pleasure and Jannah.
We should understand that “Dunya” is that which makes a person forget Allah Ta’ala – the Giver of all the unlimited bounties and gifts that we are blessed with. The love of the world (Hubbud-Dunya) makes a person neglect and even reject the Commandments of Allah Ta’ala; makes a person distance himself from his Creator and paves the path to Jahannum. This worldly life was for us to accumulate the provisions for the Hereafter. The worldly life was not to amass the commodities of Dunya and not for us to give our hearts and souls to it.
If the heart turns to Allah Ta’ala, we will find that what is with Allah Ta’ala is best and everlasting!
فَمَآ أُوْتِيْتُمْ مِّنْ شَيْءٍ فَمَتَاعُ الْحَيٰوةِ الدُّنْيَا ج وَمَا عِنْدَ اللهِ خَيْرٌ وَّ أَبْقٰى لِلَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا وَعَلٰى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُوْنَ ۚ
“Whatever you have been given, is merely a provision for the transitory life of this world, and that which is with Allah is better as well as more lasting. That is for those who have believed and put their trust in their Lord.”
[Surah Ash-Shura 42:36]
بَلْ تُؤْثِرُوْنَ الْحَيٰوةَ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَالْاٰخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ وَّأَبْقٰى ◌
“You prefer the worldly life (to the Hereafter), whereas the hereafter is best and ever-lasting.”
[Surah al-A'la : 16-17]
The bird eats and drinks and with the strength that is gained, it flies high. Similarly, the Muslim who wants to fly, who wants to soar spiritually, eats and drinks and makes use of the material things of this world so that he may fly. He lives in this world and utilizes the worldly means. However, despite his apparent association with the earth, he keeps in mind that he is created for the Aakhirah – which is superior. He understands that this world is not home. Home is Jannah - Insha-Allah.
Rasulullah ﷺ said: ‘Verily, the world has been created for you and you have been created for the Hereafter.
From amongst the diversity of birds, let us be like the falcon which flies high and flies at great speed. And if we become the royal falcon, we will find a place in the court of the King of kings – Allah Ta’ala. Let us not be like the vulture that scavenges and feasts off carcasses. …And, indeed, the world is even more insignificant to Allah Ta’ala than a carcass is to us.
It has been related that once Rasulullah ﷺ passed by the market place and came across a dead kid goat (i.e. a baby goat) which had very short ears. Rasulullah ﷺ held it by its ears and said: "Who amongst you would like to have this for a Dirham?"
The Sahabah رَضِىَ الله عَنْهُمْ said: “We would not want it even for less than that! What can we do with it?”
He ﷺ said: "Do you wish to have it for any price?"
They said: “By Allah, even if it were alive it, we would not want it, as it has very short ears, let alone now when it is also dead!”
Rasulullah ﷺ said: "By Allah, this world is more insignificant to Allah than this (dead goat) is to you."
In another Hadīth, Rasulullah ﷺ said: “If this world was worth the wing of a mosquito in the sight of Allah, He would not have given a disbeliever a single sip of water.”
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the reality and insignificance of this worldly life, remove the love of Dunya from our hearts, and fill our hearts with His Pure Love.
 Shu’abul Imaan 10581
 Dirham : Silver coin
 Sahih Muslim